Tag Archives: homes

Money Monday: Investing in real estate

As with all investments real estate investment has it own risks and the decision to invest should be carefully considered.

As a landlord there are certain costs that you will need to cover, potential vacancy problems that may strain your ability to pay your mortgages, and liability issues. It is important that you speak with an expert before putting yourself in a situation where you can potential over-extend yourself.

With that in mind, I have included some of the basic property types and benefits associated with real estate investment.

Single-family residence. First time real estate investors are usually advised to buy a single family detached home and rent it out as it’s market value appreciates. The reason for the popularity is that they are relatively easy. They are easy to buy, easy to finance, and they hold appeal to buyers and renters. Also, if you find that the real estate investment game was not the right choice for you they are relatively easy to turn over. Mortgage brokers know this-so these properties are also usually easier to finance and refinance.

Vacation property and second homes. Investment options in this category are myriad, from outright purchase to fractional-interest contracts and timeshares. Even if the property isn’t income producing, it can appreciate into a worthy investment, and mortgage interest is fully deductible. If you do rent the property when it’s not in use, realized income and tax obligations depend on what percentage of the year it’s kept for “personal use”-a tightly defined term you should discuss with a real estate attorney.

Apartment properties. Apartment properties require a long-term commitment, as well as a substantial investment of borrowed and equity capital, but due to the availability of professional managers they often don’t demand a lot of personal time. If you are the do-it yourself type then you might find yourself spending your weekends painting, advertising vacancies, and repairing faucets – though the higher return might be worth it for you. They can have mortgage loans of up to 100% of value, while other investment types may require all cash. Loans can be amortized or paid with the income generated by rents.

Condominiums. Condominium investments provide a bit of extra risk. Their market value appreciates more slowly than for detached single-family residences, and rental rates usually aren’t high enough to cover mortgage, property tax, and maintenance fees.

Vacant land. Vacant land is probably the least liquid and therefore usually the weakest choice for a profitable shorter-term investment. While undeveloped land is easy to maintain, it nearly always takes longer to appreciate and longer to sell.

Commercial property. To reduce personal liability and offset the greater expense of these properties, some investors form or join a limited liability company. Because of the extremely high risks involved with this type of agreement, consulting a real estate attorney is essential before taking this step. You probably shouldn’t consider this arrangement if you aren’t personally familiar with the other partners and their business expertise.

Money Monday: Renters’ Dilemma

It can be tough to go from the role of renter to owner.

With good reason, for many. According to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, 46% of consumers are renting because they can’t buy. And 62% of renters have debt that makes buying a home difficult; because of: student loans, auto loans and credit cards.

But homeownership is still highly valued. Renters, on average, rate the value of being a homeowner at 6.8 stars out of 10.

TheRentersDilemma_lo

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS: http://www.car.org/aboutus/onecoolthing/renters/

Common Remodeling Projects

When consumers remodel their home, they consistently focus on a couple key areas.

Those home owners, according to home remodelers, spend money on upgrading:

  • 81% focus on redoing the bathroom
  • 79% spend money and time on refreshing the kitchen

Room additions and whole house remodeling projects are two other focuses, but only about 47 – 49% of home owners work on those.

WhattheRemodelReveals

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS at CAR.org.

What’s in a Name? Energy Efficiency in Real Estate

Energy-efficient real estate and housing is a top priority for consumers; buyers and builders just call it different things.

An energy-efficient home when buying or remodeling is a top priority for 50% of interviewed consumers, and thus home builders often cater to and strive to build those types of houses. But the consumer and the builder often use different terms to describe sustainable, green and environmentally friendly real estate.

environmentally friendly real estate

This infographic is from CAR.org.

Buying real estate for first-time and repeat homebuyers

Why should you buy real estate?

For repeat and first-time homebuyers, the different reasons to buy a home have various degrees of importance.

Here is what’s most important to first-time homebuyers:

  1. They’re tired of renting (55%)
  2. They’d like a larger home (10%)
  3. They want to be in a better location (9%)
  4. They’ve had a change within their family (7%)

And for those moving up, these are the reasons in order of importance:

  1. They’d like a larger home (23%)
  2. They desire a better location (19%)
  3. They’re tired of renting (9%)
  4. They’ve had a change in family status (4%)

Why Buy

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, at car.org.

Money Monday: Older buyers, more bathrooms

Today’s real estate market is a very different place than before the recession

home buildingAmerican home buyers are getting older and homes are getting bigger.

The median age of a homebuyer in 1985 was 35.

When the housing boom was nearing its peak in 2005, the median homebuyer’s age was 39. Now it’s 43, according to U.S. Census data.

Homebuilders are catering to more middle aged buyers by building larger homes.

Since 2000, the typical American home for sale had about 1,800 square feet. That’s remained fairly steady over time.

But new homes that are just being built typically have 2,200 square feet, according to an analysis by the National Association of Home Builders…

This article is from CNN Money. Read more at CNN Money here.

Housing Becoming Less Affordable

Real estate prices and interest rates are on the rise.

Both rising interest rates and higher-priced homes the first part of 2015 are lessening home affordability for would-be homebuyers.

  • Only 30% of potential homebuyers can afford the average-priced, single-family residence
  • The median price of a single-family home is $485,100
  • To qualify for a home loan to buy such a home, the average annual income needed is $96,160
  • The median-priced home requires a monthly payment of $2,404 (which includes taxes and insurance on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan)

PricesontheUptickInfographic from CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.

Location, Location, Location…

When it come to real estate anyone can tell you that three of the most important factors in where you buy a home are location, location, location. This is one of those terms that we hear all the time and which becomes especially salient as we are searching for our dream home.

All too often buyers will be caught up in the excitement of the home buying process and make an offer on a home that seems too good to be true. unfortunately, many times it does turn out that the “perfect home for the reasonable price” is too good to be true.

The reason is simple – location. Buying a home in the wrong location is going to have a dramatic impact on how happy you are in your new home and also on the value of your home when you decide to sell.

For this reason it is important that you do your homework beforehand and pick out possible neighborhoods that suit your lifestyle. At the same time, keep an eye on that future date when you might put your new home back on the market and pick a neighborhood that is know for good schools and well maintained public facilities.

Once you have narrowed down the neighborhoods, visit the neighborhood and pick the best house available.

You’ll be happier in the end if you plan well in the beginning.